May 7, 2012 AT 12:53 pm

Interview with Carl Bass of Autodesk

Pt 1029

Carl Bass of Autodesk, on Setting a Clear Course – NYTimes.com.

This is my current fascination: it’s this whole idea about keeping companies entrepreneurial and innovative and cutting-edge. The thing that I worry about a lot is how companies measure themselves. The analogy is that you can see light from a star that burned out a long time ago — it’s 100 light years away, and three years ago that star died.

The same thing is true in companies. We measure ourselves around revenue and profits and financial metrics that perform long after a spark is gone. You have this funny feedback mechanism in which you’re getting the results from something that happened a while ago. Maybe the thing that generates all the revenue was a great idea that happened in a dorm room. There’s a lot of stuff that’s gone on since then, but do you know whether you’ve had another spark?

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